dress to skirt revamp tutorial

i very rarely browse through the clearance section anywhere.

i used to love to do it pre-kids.

tj maxx, marshalls, ross – those were my favorite places to shop.

but now, now i can’t stand them!

maybe its the messiness that i can’t deal with when i have little time and 3 little kids.

maybe its the crammed quarters and no guarantee that i’ll find anything.

but awhile back i happened to look in the clearance section at target.

see, they’re smart and mix the clearance racks in with the regular priced items, so they tricked me.

i found this dress for $5!

i knew immediately that i would never wear it as a dress for a couple reasons: 1 – because it would be too short, and 2 – because the smocking at the top was ridiculously tight – probably why it was on clearance.

so i got it anyway and brought it home to chop up.

and then it sat in my drawer of things to revamp.

yes, i have a drawer for that stuff.

finally a few weeks ago i found time to make this dress into a skirt.

i think it took me all of 30 minutes, at the most.

i made it while the kids and i were taking a break from home school.

this is something anyone with a sewing machine could make – truly super easy!

first i held the dress at my waist in the mirror and guesstimated where i wanted to cut it.

i knew i wanted it just above my knees, but needed to allow enough room for the elastic waist.

once i decided on the length, plus a couple inches, i brought it to my cutting mat and chopped off the top.  i made sure i allowed a little extra length just in case it was too short.  you can always shorten something more, but lengthening is not so easy.

next i ironed down the top of the skirt just a bit, maybe a 1/4 inch.  i did this to make the channel that the elastic will go in.  i almost never measure, because its quicker to just eyeball it.

then i eyeballed it again using the elastic i had on hand (~1″  width i think) as a guide.  the next fold needed to allow for the elastic to fit as well as leave room for the stitching.

i ironed it again and double checked the width with the elastic.

next i stitched all around the bottom of the fold that i just made, maybe 1/4 inch up from the bottom.  i left a small opening at a seam to slide the elastic in.  i attached a large safety pin to one end of the elastic and pushed it through the channel until it came out the other end.

then i tried on the skirt and adjusted the elastic until it was comfortable,  pinned it there, then stitched it a few times with my machine.

ta da!  it only took 2 stitches!  crazy right?!  i was afraid the elastic waist would be too bunchy, but it really isn’t bad, and its very comfy.

here it is in action for a what i wore wednesday post.

do you have any old clothes that you could do a simple revamp with?

can you do it in 2 stitches or less?

i dare ya!

Comments

  1. 1

    Cute! Love those boots too, I’ve been wanting a pair of knee high boots for a while.

  2. 2

    That turned out really cute! And now you’ve got me thinking – I have a post-baby denim skirt that is really a bit big now, and hangs too long – I’m wondering if I have enough length/width to put in an elastic waistband.

  3. 3

    I read your blog daily from my lil’ home in australia and after reading this I feel it is now time to comment ….
    After 3 kiddies my worst fear is clothes shopping! I am now hooked on eBay! I am now off to buy the dresses I was looking at but did not like the straps or lack there of!
    Thankyou x.

  4. 4
    Rose D., Frenchtown, NJ says:

    Love it! I’ve got an entire drawer of dresses (pre-kiddies) that I know I will NEVER wear. I’m dragging them out on this rainy day and working some magic. Thanks! Oh, and I love the boots. :)

  5. 5

    Very cute skirt…I would never have guessed it lived a previous life! Looks great!!

  6. 6

    Talent…I don’t have that or a sewing machine! Love it!!

  7. 7

    I love the idea!!! So cute and functional :) Hmm…what dresses do I own that I could convert?

  8. 8

    So cute!!!

  9. 9

    that’s adorable! i need to keep my eyes out for “kinda sorta” cute clearance I can revamp! :)

  10. 10

    Very cute!

    The only thing I’ve {sorta} revamped is a dress I got at Ann Taylor Loft for like $5. I love the dress, but the sleeves were very…poufy. So I finally just cut the sleeves off, hemmed them, and used the fabric to make a flower. I like the dress much more now!

  11. 11

    Oh, how I wish I could sew…so amazing!

    I have those boots, too ;) Love them…I just wish the weather would cooperate so I could wear them!

  12. 12

    Love this!! I’m inspired to go through my closet to see what I can rework into something fabulous!

  13. 13

    Love this idea!!! I found your blog yesterday and I am loving it!!

  14. 14

    I did it with an XXL skirt from Target that I got for $3.00. It was way too big for me, but for $3.00, I could make it work and it was so cute. I cut out a lot of the elastic and then just sewed it back up…I think it was 1 stitch total and I love that skirt for the summer!

    Thanks for a great step-by-step!
    Happy Thursday!

  15. 15

    You are so cute! I love that skirt! You know, putting in elastic ALWAYS scares me. I dont really know why, but I always do it last and it takes me twice as long to do it than it should.. I would LOVE to try this :)

  16. 16

    You are quite the talented lady:) That is really cute Lindsey!

  17. 17

    love the re-vamp. and i totally agree with you on tj maxx & ross. i see so many ppl finding great deals there, but i just can’t handle the mess. usually when i do go, i can’t find anything so i don’t even bother anymore!

  18. 18

    OK–gotta know where your boots came from–I LOVE them! Are you willing to share?

  19. 20

    totally gonna copy!!! thanks!

  20. 21

    love! i love a good refashion! this is super cute!

    ~selina

  21. 22

    I did this a few times this summer. Old Navy is a great source for dresses that can be turned into other things.

    I blogged about one dress I turned into a skirt:
    http://accidentalcrafterblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/turning-dress-into-skirt.html

    And one dress I turned into a shirt:
    http://accidentalcrafterblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/restyle-dress-to-tank.html

  22. 23

    That’s adorable!

  23. 24

    Great idea! love the skirt. It looks great on you!

  24. 25

    This is fabulous!!!!

  25. 26

    Super cute! I do this too! I buy dress that are super cheap on clearance and turn them into skirts! I’ve done it twice already :) for both less than $5 each!

    Just Better Together

  26. 27

    that looks fantastic!! i’ve been meaning to go through all my older clothes to see if there was anything i could revamp – now i definitely need to!! :)

  27. 28

    Yes! Yes! Yes! This is my style of refashion! I just made a skirt out of a plus-size top that I thrifted using this same technique but haven;t gotten around to posting it yet. What so cool about yours is that as a skirt it has a completely different vibe than as a dress…It went from surfer chic to prairie chic and the after is soooo much better! Love it!

    xoxo,
    ~Olivia

  28. 29

    One more thing, people have drawers for their someday projects? Mine are in a heap on my sewing table. Your way is far superior!

  29. 30

    So super super super cute!

  30. 31

    is there enough fabric left from the top to make into a tunic or dress for one of your girls?

  31. 32

    so amazing:) i need to revamp some things for sure. i love that all of this revamping and reworking what we currently own is not only frugal and smart, but sustainable to the environment. :)smiles, gina

  32. 33

    Wow, I love that. I will definitely have to try it. Thank you for sharing! You are really talented!

  33. 34

    If I could revamp ANYTHING I would be happy with myself…I live vicariously through you and your revamps! :)

    paige

  34. 35

    I have a lighter version of this dress that I’ve been wanting to do this with. Might have to get it started now. . . .for next summer I guess :)

  35. 36

    Hi Lindsay!
    Thanks so much for WIWW! It’s such a fun idea and I look forward to checking your blog each week for it. But now that so many people are linking up I’m finding it hard to look at them all. I think you should pick one or two to spotlight each week. It would add a fun new element to the “game” and would be a great way to make sure nobody misses the best for the week. I don’t know….just an idea.

    • 37

      hi amanda!

      i think your idea is great, but i’m like you – i just don’t have time to get to everyone’s wiww! i tend to just randomly visit a handful at a time.

  36. 38

    darling! love that. i just bought a ‘dress’ from old navy for $4. didnt care for the top of it but now i know what to do with it! thanks for the idea!

  37. 39

    I am new to sewing (at 40 years old) but I did manage to turn a pair of jeans into crops! So cool. Thanks for the elastic tutorial. Seems as easy as you’d think it would be, but I am like you, I like to wing it rather than bother with measuring, sometimes I end up with disastrous results!!

  38. 40

    That is too cute! What a neat little project. Now I’m going to have to stop by Target and see if they have that dress so I can try my hand at it :)

    P.S. What is the font on your blog? Whatever it is, I love it!

  39. 41

    I think I’ll try it tomorrow! I did my first refashion today! It was two shirts into a new dress!

    Love your stuff!

    Yvette

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